Lisa Sheets - Biography & Artist Statement
I was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in 1963. Although I enjoyed art as a child, my high school years were spent immersed in the study of music, and I enrolled at Western Illinois University in 1981 as a flute performance major. During college, I rediscovered my love for the visual arts, particularly printmaking and sculpture. In 1989 I received the Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. For two years after graduation, I worked as the wax department coordinator at the Walla Walla Foundry, casting and tooling wax patterns for many internationally known artists. In 1991, I moved to the Seattle area, and spent 3 years as owner/director of the Smart Art Gallery in Pioneer Square, Seattle.
My work was exhibited at City Hall in 1998 in Mannheim, Germany. Artist Trust of Seattle, a regional organization that supports artists in the Pacific Northwest, awarded me a $1200 Gap Grant to cover the shipping costs of my Germany exhibit.
The City of Redmond commissioned me to create a lifesize sculpture of a mother and daughter, which was installed in Anderson Park in November, 2000.
Other public collections my work is in include: City of Kirkland, City of Mountlake Terrace, University of Washington Medical Center, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC.
My current work is collage on wood panel, art books and collagraph prints. My work is available at the Black Lab Gallery, Everett, WA.
About My Work
These collages are my subconscious’ ongoing communication about relationships, culture, and my own life. I'm interested in the combination of religious art historical iconography, and pop culture images, to stress the sacred in our modern day life. My most recent work focuses on women's historic contributions to the workforce.
After many years working primarily as a sculptor, I started making collagraph prints in about 1994. Using collage started out as simply a way to add an interesting image to my collagraph print. Over time, my collagraph prints became more and more mixed media, until they were combinations of printmaking, Xerox transfer, painting, and collage. Lately, my work is almost 100% collage. My most recent work has shifted to working on wood panels, and incorporates printmaking media such as linoleum block print. I’ve gradually been collecting hundreds of images for use in my collages, and I’m always on the look out for more. I find them in old magazines, books, and advertising flyers.
For me, creating these images is a way of having a dialogue with myself about inner conflicts. Certain key images take on deeper meaning for me, like the lady wrestlers, or the telephone operators. Even the inclusion of handwriting as a part of the image refers both to communication, and to a part of our culture that is rapidly becoming anachronistic. The sewing pattern as a background for my collages is an important reference to what is historically “women's work”, and I also like to include handwriting because it is something we are losing touch with. Our computer driven culture is leaning towards typing and emailing as our main form of communicating. I still think script has a personality all its own that reflects the writer much more intimately.
While working on new collages, I have an assortment of images all around me, to consider; these images are never planned out in advance, but happen much more spontaneously. This is why I prefer the cut and paste method of collage over using a computer to manipulate the images. I like the physical act of layering all these different images together, until I find a fit that’s just right.
Lisa working on Stephanie
Photo by Matt Saettler
Lisa Sheets 6830 NE Bothell Way #C302, Kenmore, WA 98028 email@example.com